Archive for » January, 2011 «

B&W v/s COLOUR

B&W v/s COLOUR

 

Most of us,who love Hindi films and are now in their sixties and seventies,will agree that black and white movies had,and still have their own old world charm. You will also agree with me that there are some excellent black and white movies of bygone era which we all simply love.Some of them that I ,and I think, most of you must have always enjoyed seeing, are: Do Bigha Zameen, Garam Coat,Dosti,Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi,Half Ticket, Aawara,Shree 420, Jagtey Raho, Teesri Kasam, Anuradha,Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Kagaz Ke Phool and Anupama.Of course there are many more such classic Hindi films of that era. Now with reports that the original Dev Anand starrer “Hum Dono”(1961) has been colourised and is being released shortly on 4th February 2011, a sort of controversy has been raised in several media reports.The main question being asked is :should such old classics,termed as heritage films,be fiddled with for merely economic reasons,by converting them into colour and re-releasing them now ?

I still remember seeing “Hum Dono” several times on the terraces of University hostels in Baroda ( 1967-1973) late on Saturday nights at a nominal rate of 50 paise or Re.1.The old type of movie projector with its sparkling lights and the bright screen (or a big white wall) ahead,made a startling atmosphere at night under the dark starry sky overhead.We hummed the songs with the actors on screen,we knew most of the dialogues by heart.We whistled,we cheered when Dev Anand romanced Sadhna.

I distinctly recall till this date, a lovely song sequence of this movie,directed by Amarjeet,where a dashing and handsome Dev Anand in a grey shirt,buttoned right up to the neck, and a cute childlike and innocent looking Sadhana, in a white sari, singing to Sahir Ludhianvi’s immortal words, ‘Abhi Naa Jaao Chhod Kar…’ . The duet is in (late) Mohammad Rafi’s and Asha Bhosle’s melodious voices,set to an enchanting musical score by Jaidev.It is a beautifully picturised and lyrical love song, reflecting that era of our Hindi films,when these films were simple and yet magical. I have very often re-lived those memories by going to YouTube and have watched the afore-mentioned song along with other famous songs from the movie.For example: ‘Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya…’ and the soulful but heartbreaking number ‘Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Haalat Pe…’ Those delightful black-and-white images of these songs,are still imbedded in and are alive in my mind,after decades and that is how I would love to remember them.

A few years ago, a fully coloured version of Mughal-e-Azam was released.I still recall that this original black and white movie was partly shot in colour and the song sequence :” Pyar Kiya Tau Darna Kya” was one of the very stunning highlights of the film in those times.When I saw the fully-coloured version some time back,it was easy to see the difference between the original coloured portions and the remaining parts of the film,where colour was now added.

Besides the economic reasons for colouring these B&W golden oldies now,another very common argument being made by the producers/directors, is that today’s young generation,does not like watching black and white movies.The thinking is that with colourised versions of old movies,such old heritage and classicals will become more accessible to this category of the audience. I beg to differ and am of the view that this argument does not hold much water.What do you say ? I think the right approach should be to re-release these old B&W classics,as they are,with a view to educate the Gen Next about our rich heritage of our classical cinema from all parts of our country and to make efforts to help them appreciate it and recognise its real and true worth-today.I feel they are as worth as Gold !

As a bonus for my readers,here are the You Tube links to two songs from “Hum Dono” :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbK8KW-1D34

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sagi0o-d7XU&feature=channel

Here is the link to Mughal-e-Azam (1960) song as well :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plsRqFDk-2A

E..n…j…o…y…!!













        Mughal-e-Azam scenes in B&W and colourised versions.

Latest issue of BT.

Latest Issue of BUSINESS  TODAY ( dated 6th Feb,2011)

I liked the latest issue of BT with its good cover page as well as its articles. 

This is what I wote  to the  Editor  in response:                                                      

Dear Sir,


 

This refers to your BT issue dated FEB 6TH 2011

 

Here are my comments in the style of a recipe : 

 

A recipe for a special issue of BT.

Ingredients: 1 attractive cover with smiling NextGen faces. 2 interesting surveys on best companies to work/live/die for and employment outlooks in the new year.1 delightful photo feature of odd alternative jobs for breaking monotony in existing jobs.6 brief glimpses of brave/daring/outrageous acts of people like Sanjeev Aggarwal (filing FIR against Citi bank),Srinivas (ex-BITS Pilani guy joining tabla classes),Bazmi Hussain (ABB turnaround hero),Mammootty (actor’s new business ventures),Rajan Anandan (grasshopper from Microsoft India to Google India) and the incorrigible Vijay Mallya (in Scottish dress attire-coat,skirt,stockings).


                                    

Method: Add all the above carefully,mix a large quantity of onion juice of the price- rise facing and crying-population variety (if not available,crocodile tears can be used.),add a pinch of unusual undiscovered gems to add to the sparkle,a heap of World Cup hopes and cricket aspirations,season it with small doses of salt and pepper as per taste of the reading public and serve it sizzling hot as soon as it is ready,to the waiting loyal readers, before it cools down in this wintry season.


Result : You have a cracker of a Special BT issue.


Conclusion : You guys are better than all the Master Chefs put together !


==================================


Now I shall wait to see if my response gets selected for publication in the Letters to The Editor page or not in the next issue/issues.


Recipes.

Recipes

My late mother was an expert cook. ( I believe all good mothers are good cooks !) The taste of some of her finger-licking dishes,vegetables,snacks etc still lingers in my mouth.May be the recipes are age-old and passed on from a mother to a daughter and so on,but that unique taste and flavour comes from a mother’s hands and heart,I believe.Somehow,we mean men often try to compare the cooking done by our wives with that of our mothers and generally make mean and disparaging remarks about the cooking done so lovingly,by them. I feel, we need to be more appreciative of this fact.Thankfully,my wife cooks.It is said that there are two types of women.One type is one who can cook,but won’t cook.The other type is one who cannot cook but will cook.Just ruminate on this point and see if you can digest it !

My mother used to religiously note down recipes in a diary and I think it is still lying with one of my sisters who uses it like a bible and and wins brownie points from her husband and family members by cooking dishes as prescribed in that old tattered diary.My wife maintains a diary too.She has also cut out and preserved recipes from several newspapers and magazines-all stapled together and kept in the same diary.My newly married daughter,regularly keeps asking for cooking tips from her mummy on the telephone or from her mobile.However she often confesses that the final look,taste,colour etc of a dish or the end-product is no where near to that prepared by her mummy.Her mummy advises her that she should be patient and that ,with experience,her cooking will also improve.Lets hope it does !

Talking of recipes,in these precious diaries,there are recipes of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes,Indian and continental dishes and Chinese too (of late,Italian too).Yes “Mughlai Paratha“, “Gujarati Khaman Dokhla“,” South Indian Dosa/Idli/Meduwada”, “Sindhi Kadhi” (I don’t know how different it is from our “Punjabi Pakoda Kadhi“),different types of pickles, jams, sauces,soups…you think of it and its recipe is there somewhere in the diary ! They know exactly on which page it is,and still remember from where they got a particular recipe or who gave it to them and when ! Most of the diaries will have a few telltale smudges of red chilly powder or yellow turmeric, on some corners of quite a few pages.(finger prints on the sands of time ?).Often the diary will have a faint smell of usual kitchen flavours and spices.

Such recipes,and such well preserved diaries,stand the test of times and are an indicator of evolution (or revolution should we say?) in man’s tastes over decades.Though the basic recipes of normal food items that we eat at home,remain the same over ages,what undergoes a change or a slight metamorphosis are the use of certain ingredients and their qualities and quantities which were not available or used then in our “mata ji ka zamana” !!

With several TV channels telecasting special cookery shows,which are avidly watched not only by women but by men too, can we say that the age old recipes forwarded from generation to generation through the afore said diaries,will lose their significance and value and importance ?Certainly not,for I believe that such diaries are very precious like family heirlooms, passed on lovingly from mothers to daughters and they will be always preserved for ages at all costs. So lets say “Mera Desh Mahaan,Meri Mummy Ki Diary Mahaan !”

Talking of food and recipes,one more aspect that I feel, needs to be discussed is,that whatever be the food you are eating,prepared by whosoever-be it your wife,mother or daughter,always enjoy it,feel happy,say a few encouraging and genuinely apprecaitive words in front of the family.However,if a dish is under cooked or over cooked or has less salt and more chillies,control your self and share your views with the concerned cook only in private.I think that if this is done,surely the concerned cook’s morale will be boosted and she will try to improve her culinary skills to please you in near future.Don’t you agree ?

Yes,before I rush to the kitchen to sample the “gajar-ka-halwa” my daughter-in-law has lovingly cooked to day,here is my favourite recipe. Read it,enjoy it and remember it always.

A Recipe for a Happy Day

This came out of an old cookbook of my friend’s mother.

Ingredients

1 cup friendly words

2 heaped cups of understanding

4 heaped teaspoons of time and patience

A pinch of warm personality

A dash of humour

Procedure

Measure words carefully,add heaped cups of understanding using generous amounts of time and patience; cook with gas on front burner; keep temperature low—DO NOT BOIL. Add a dash of humour and a pinch of warm personality; season to taste with Spice of Life; serve in individual moulds.

Have a Happy Day !!

 

My list of patriotic songs.

My list of patriotic songs

When I was in school  (St Joseph’s E T High School,Bulsar),celebrating Republic Day meant attending a public flag hoisting ceremony either at Police Grounds ( in front of our old primary school) or at Railway Institute Parade grounds (just opposite to the new school building) at Bulsar (now Valsad),in Gujarat.Many other schools also sent their batches of students to participate in the ceremony.The flag was was usually hoisted either by some senior police person, a senior railway person or some local politician.The venue used to be gaily decorated with stringed triangular multi coloured tissue paper buntings (“jhandi” in Hindi) and green bunches of Ashoka tree leaves and marigold garlands.Loudspeakers used to blare out patriotic songs (from Hindi films, usually) the whole day long from various locations in the whole city.There were no tape recorders then and usually the hand cranked gramophone or record player was used, and one by one, different records were loaded by the loud speaker wallah.Students were usually given packets of sweets after the ceremonies were over.

I used to love humming along with the patriotic songs as they played on and on.Today this non stop playing of patriotic songs is hardly seen or heard.The songs then,were well worded,meaningful,emotional and very inspiring,creating lot of patriotic zeal and fervor.

Today,on the early morning of 26th January 2011,on occasion of our Republic Day (61st) I am trying to list down the top 10 of my most favorite patriotic songs,heard and loved since my childhood and thereafter.This does not mean that I don’t like other songs not listed here.It is a very difficult job but nevertheless,here is my list.You can come out with your list as well dear readers.I bet there are going to be some common songs both in your list and in my list. There is no attempt at ranking these songs.They are listed in a random order,as they come to my mind, and on my lips,right now. 

1.”Aiy Mere Watan Key Logo”

2.”Nanha Munna Rahee Hoon”

3.”Aiy Merey Pyaare Wattan”

4.”Apni Azadi Ko Hum Hargiz”

5.”Aao Bacho Tumehin Dikhaaein”

6.”Hum Laaye Hain Toofan Sey”

7.”Merey Desh Ki Dharti”

8.”Dey Di Humein Azadi Bina”

9.”Saathi Haath Badhaana”

10.”Mera Rang Dey Basanti Chola Maey”

 Here are a few details of these songs along with You tube video links where possible for you to see,listen to and re-live:

1.”Aiy Mere Watan Key Logo” : Indian Patriotic Song, composed by C. Ramchandra and lyrics by Pradeep.When in 1962 Lata Mangeshkar sang this patriotic song, it moved Pandit Jawarlal Nehru, the Indian Prime Minister, to tears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRC36g5ex_k&feature=related

2.”Nanha Munna Rahee Hoon” :A famous song from “Son Of India“.The movie is from the sixties, but unfortunately,we rarely get to hear this song now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k8Wca1DnmU

3.”Aiy Merey Pyaare Wattan” :A soulful number from Bimal Roy’s ‘Kabuliwala’ starring Balraj Sahni, who gave a sterling performance in the film, had music by Salil Choudhary. A haunting melody sung marvelously by inimitable Manna Dey, the song has been penned by Prem Dhawan.I just love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b56YkV5qrRA

4.”Apni Azadi Ko Hum Hargiz” :What superb lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni,such a soul lifting music by Naushad Ali, and what a great performance by thespian Dilip Kumar.It is sung by Late Mohammed Rafi.I am sure this song will stir you as it stirs me even today.It is from a movie called “Leader”.I remember to have specially gone with our whole family ( father,mother,6 kids) to Surat, to see it in a theater (cinema hall) when it was released and was running to packed houses.Where do you hear songs like this today?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93NLol3gXm8

5.”Aao Bacho Tumehin Dikhaaein” :It is from the film “Jagriti”.Super hit patriotic song from this old classic movie  starring Abhi Bhattacharya as a school teacher.Music is by Hemant Kumar and Director was Satyen Bose. Its tune and chorus ‘Vandey Mataram” are just awe-inspiring.The song has the beat of a running train.I have always loved singing it.

http://www.ratedesi.com/video/v/4E09twioyfs/Jagriti-Aao-Bachchon-Tumhen-Dikhayen-Jhanki-Hindustan-Ki

6.”Hum Laaye Hain Toofan Sey” : This is also from the film Jagriti (1954).It  is a very melodious and inspiring song meant for the new generation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scmO_26Qqkc

7.”Merey Desh Ki Dharti” : This song is from Manoj Kumar’s hit film ”Upkar” (1967) 

 http://video.yahoo.com/watch/954967/3711836

 8.”Dey Di Humein Azadi Bina” :Another inspiring song from “Jagriti”.The song narrates the role of Mahatama Gandhi ji in our freedom struggle.Lyrics are just superb.

http://www.oonly.com/video/w999fBZs8MY/Jagriti_54_-_De_Di_Hamen_Azadi_Bina_Khadag

9.”Saathi Haath Badhaana” : This song is from the film “Naya Daur”.Its chorus refrain “Saathi Haath Badhaana Saathi Rey..”is very hummable.

http://www.mypopkorn.com/music/saathi-haath-badhana-naya-daur.html

10.”Mera Rang Dey Basanti Chola Maey” :I am talking of the old song from a movie called “Shaheed”(1965). I had sung it many times in groups on stage and won a few prizes in college too.The line Mera Rang De Basanti Chola is in Punjabi and means”please colour my cloak in a light-yellow-colour”.” Basanti” refers to the light-yellow color of the Mustard flower grown in Punjab.The movie starred Manoj Kumar in the role of legendary Bhagat Singh.This song has been sung by Mohinder Kapoor Mukesh and Manna Dey.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOfbFa06jsE

 Dear Readers, I am proud to be an Indian.Jai Hind !! A Very Happy Republic Day to You All. I shall look forward to your feedback and responses.

 

Coining a new word…


Coining a new word.

I have heard of the word “innovation”. Innovation basically means something new or different introduced.For example: there have been numerous innovations in the high-school curriculum this year.The act of innovating means introduction of new things or methods.
 
I have also heard of the word “nano”.It means something very small. It comes from the Greek word “nanos”which means dwarf.When used as a prefix,it means”extremely small.


 

“When quantifiable,it translates to one-billionth.For example:a ‘nanosecond’.“Nanotechnology”for example,means the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale.



So,when I heard of a word like “nanovation”a few days ago,I was much fascinated with it.Someone really clever had indeed coined a new word.


Before I take you to the source of this word,I would like to inform my readers that,having studied Gujarati in school,I can easily relate to the word ‘nano’ in Gujarati.’Nano chhokro’ in Gujarati, means a ‘small’ boy.So,when Ratan Tata probably named his new car “nano” he meant that it was a ‘small’ car.


After the launch of ‘Nano’ there has been a spate of articles in the media on the car itself,its technology,its competitive pricing on the plank of affordability,its easy parking,its design etc.A number of books on Nano the wonder car,have also been there in the market for quite sometime now.

 

“Small Wonder” was the first such book,according to my knowledge.It was a Tata publication. It had received a good response from the inquisitive readers,students and technocrats.


Now,here comes a book titled : ”NANOVATION:HOW A LITTLE CAR CAN TEACH THE WORLD TOTHINK BIG”.It is written by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg,and Dain Dunston.It is a Portfolio Penguin publication with 351 pages and priced at Rs 450.

 

            


The word “NANOVATION”is a cute combination of the two words discussed above ie “Nano” and “Innovation”. Hats off to the innovators for coining this word !

 

Now I shall give you a link to a review of the above book as published in Financial Express of 23.01.2011.I liked the review a lot and recommend that lovers of innovation,students of MBA classes etc all read this book. 

 

I had also submitted my comments on the piece,which are now displayed below the article on FE’s website.Here is what is now displayed there:

Coining a new word-NANOVATION 


Posted by J S BROCA on 2011-01-24 09:43:58.907675+05:30


Dear Sir,the review of the latest book on Nano idicates how the world is watching India and its innovations.Ratan Tata dreamt of a low cost car for the “aam aadmi” and giving wings to his dreams,he launched Nano.As is usual,Nano had some initial hiccups like reports of some cars catching fire etc but of late they seem to have been taken care of and with innovative financing schemes and unheard of guarantees and warranties,Nano has now surged ahead.Let us hope that its tag line-”Khushiyon ki chaabi” meaning ‘key to happiness’ realy unlocks the gates to its users’happiness index in near future.As for coining a new word NANOVATION from Nano and Innovation-hats off to the writers.The latest news that Tata’s Nano is being exhibited in a US museum to herald its role as a societal change,is another feather in Tata’s cap.All those who love innovating,must read this latest book,specially our young generation.The SMALL WONDER-Nano,is going to be BIG NEWS soon,it is felt.Kudos to the reviewer-Sukalp Sharma for a really readable and a balanced review. -J S BROCA NEW DELHI——————————————————————————————————————————————-

To read the article/review and my comments,go to the following link :

 



My comment on ‘Dhobi Ghat’ on website of SCREEN.

My comment on ‘Dhobi Ghat’ on website of SCREEN.


I read the following review of the latest flick ‘Dhobi Ghat’ on the website of Screen.I have also read reviews in a few other places.So I had posted my comment below the review/article.It is now displayed on the website.Those who would like to see the page in original,may please go to the following link :



Dhobi Ghat ( Mumbai Diaries)



Shubhra Gupta Posted: Jan 21, 2011 at 1613 hrs IST




 


Dhobi Ghat

Dhobi Ghat


Director:Kiran Rao Cast:Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra

Rating:**1/2  

Movie review: Dhobi Ghat`Dhobi Ghat’ is a strangely uneven film. Its beginning feels amateurishly put together ; as it heads onwards, though, it finds an easy, flowing rhythm with just the occasional stutter.

Its tagline is `Mumbai Diaries’, and debutant director Kiran Rao takes four wildly differing lives in a metro to share with us her beloved city, in all its varying moods. Mumbai, like all throbbing, constantly-on-the-move, major world cities, can madden and enchant at the same time : `Dhobi Ghat’s characters intersect with each other, rubbing off some of their skins on the other, giving and taking, pulling and pushing.  

Some of it works, some of it doesn’t. Arun ( Aamir) is an up and coming painter who also broods well. He is the object of interest of Shai ( Dogra) a swish NRI investment banker cum photographer, on a sabbatical to capture the lives of marginal city workers. Enter Munna ( Babbar), a young, good-looking slum-dweller who holds dual jobs : during the day, grinning widely, he washes clothes at the `dhobi ghat’; at night, he grimly kills rats. And there’s Yasmin ( Malhotra) a small-town girl we see only as an image in a video camera, recounting her tale as a new entrant to the city, moving through the arc of a happy bride to a sad, tragic wife.  

Arun and Shai meet at an upscale show opening, the kind where invitees float about with thin-stemmed wine glasses. Even though hers is the wealthier, more privileged background, they speak the same language, and they come together as equals. Rank outsider Munna enters their world as a lowly service provider : he’s the guy who collects dirty laundry and brings it back clean. With Arun, he remains in his place ; with the attractive Shai, he becomes a yearning, besotted young man, plagued by all the jealousies and possessiveness of one. Yasmin’s narrative becomes a point of fascination, and inspiration, for Arun, but the way it translates into action appears contrived : this is one of the film’s major stutters.  

Rao has an eye, clearly, but there isn’t a Mumbai scene in here which takes my breath away. Her drawing of Arun aka Aamir, who claims he had to fight for the part, is ironically the weakest strand. Khan tries underplaying his mega-star persona, and is made to say such sentences as “ Mumbai is my muse, my beloved, my whore”. Or words to that effect. The words sound stilted in Khan’s mouth : he’s also a surly lover, not wanting to be gracious to the smitten Shai the morning after. Both the girls, especially Dogra, fill in their parts better, and both sound just right for their station. Prateik comes off the best of the lot, though he could have been given more to work with : there’s something pleasingly original about him, making him stand out from the crowd, a quality he showed in his debut ‘Jaane Tu.. Ya Jaane Na’.

‘Dhobi Ghat’is arresting in parts. I wanted to be beguiled some more.

shubhragupta@expressindia.com 

ViewComments



DHOBI GHAT REVIEW by J S BROCA on 201101-23 09:40:30.583277+05:30 Dear Sir, I have read the review of DHOBI GHAT here and in other papers and magazines too.Overall, the reviews are not so favourable.Some one jokingly said :” Dhobi Ghat” – dhobies protested.Film flopped.Next title for his film? “Western Ghats”?.No better still :”Shamshan Ghat”.No one will protest.Film will be a hit ! All the Best to Kiran and Amir. -J S BROCA NEW DELHI. 

 


Dear Readers,I wait for your responses.Wash your dirty linen about this movie publically-here,yes right here.Save water !!

 

Ah,yes,the comment is there on Twitter too but in limited words.Go to the following link to see it and re-tweet it.Happy twittering !! 

 



The Sparrow-A Story With a Moral…

The Sparrow


Once upon a time there was a non-conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly decided to fly south. In a short time ice began to form on his wings and he fell to Earth in a barnyard, nearly frozen solid.

 

A cow passed by where he had fallen, and crapped on the little sparrow.The sparrow thought it was the end,but the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings!

Warm and happy, able to breath, he started to sing.

Just then a large cat came by, and hearing the chirping he investigated the sounds. The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird, and promptly ate him.

The Moral of the Story:




Everyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy.
Everyone who gets you out of crap is not necessarily your friend.
And if you’re warm and happy in a pile of crap, you might just want to keep your mouth shut.
  

Rishi Neetu Marriage Anniversary today..

Rishi Neetu Marriage Anniversary today..

Today  (22.01.2011) happens to be my favourite actress Neetu Singh’s Marriage Anniversary.Hailing from a legendry family in Bollywood, Rishi Kapoor,fondly known as Chintu, married his lady love and the veteran actress Neetu Singh on 22.01.1980 after being one of the most sought after on-screen couples of the 1970’s, with numerous hits to their kitty. Today, 31  years later, with a Star son Ranbir, and beautiful daughter Riddhima, the couple is still very much in love. Both are devoted to each other.No affairs ! No lafdaas ! WISH THEM MANY MORE YEARS OF TOGETHERNESS !

 

 

Vidya Balan-talented beauty with brains.

 

Vidya Balan-talented beauty with brains.


I have been an ardent lover of bollywood films since school days.I have loved and enjoyed movies from black and white era to Eastman Colour,Geva Colour,Techni Colour eras… My favourite heroines have also changed from time to time and with age. Begining with Nargis, Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nutan etc…I later fell in love with Neetu Singh, Dimple Kapadia etc. Madhuri Dixit also  captured me with her million dollar smile in her super stardom days. Out of the current lot of heroines, I have gradually started liking Vidya Balan now. How long will this fascination last…? Let me see !  

Seeing to her career graph, so far, I feel that she will go very far…indeed..!


 

Here are some good photographs and a lovely write up on my current craze:

Vidya Balan  —From Wikipedia


Vidya Balan (born 1 January, 1978)is an Indian actress, who appears in Hindi films. After graduating in sociology, she began her career starring in many music videos, T.V shows and many commercials, before appearing in feature films. Balan made her movie debut in the Bengali film, Bhalo Theko in 2003. She later made her Hindi film debut with Parineeta (2005), which earned her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award as well as her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress nomination. She subsequently essayed a variety of character roles, receiving her first commercial success with Rajkumar Hirani’s Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). She followed it with Heyy Babyy (2008) and Bhool Bhulaiya (2008),the latter earning her another nomination for a Filmfare Award for Best Actress. In 2009 she appeared as a single mother of a child suffering from progeria in R. Balki’s Paa, her performance in which ultimately won her a Filmfare Award for Best Actress. 2010 saw the release of Ishqiya, starring Balan in a role for which she was praised and awarded. Early life :Vidya Balan was born in Ottapalam, Palakkad District, Kerala, to P. R. Balan (Vice President of ETC Channel) and a housewife mother in an Tamil speaking Iyerfamily.She has an elder sister, Priya.She did her schooling at St. Anthony Girls’ High School, Chembur, Mumbai, and later attended St. Xavier’s College where she majored in Anthropology. She went on to study MA at the University of Mumbai, when she got her first film offer. Career :Her acting career started when she signed up for the Malayalam film Chakram, alongside Mohanlal but the film was shelved. After that, she signed on for the Tamil film, Run, but for reasons undisclosed, she was dropped after a first schedule and replaced by Meera Jasmine. When Chakram was restarted with Prithviraj in the lead, Meera Jasmine was chosen ahead of Balan again.She then turned to television advertising. From 1998 onwards, she appeared in numerous television ads, many of which were directed by Pradeep Sarkar. She also took supporting roles in music videos, appearing with singers and bands such as Euphoria, Shubha Mudgal, and Pankaj Udhas. Balan also portrayed the role of Radhika Mathur in a few episodes of the later seasons of Hum Paanch.In 2003, she appeared in the Bengali film, Bhalo Theko directed by Goutam Halder ,for which she won the Anandalok Puraskar Best Actress award in Kolkata. Balan next made her Hindi film debut in Parineeta. Her performance in that film was acclaimed by critics,earning her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award and a nomination for Filmfare Best Actress Award. After the success of her first two films, the producer who dropped her from Manasellam was keen to sign her opposite Kamal Hassan for Dasavathaaram but she rejected the offer and Asin Thottumkal was signed instead. In 2006, she appeared opposite Sanjay Dutt in the blockbuster film Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Once again her performance was well received by critics and the film became the second highest grossing film of that year.Mani Ratnam’s Guru was Balan’s first release in 2007, in which she played a woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. The film performed well at the box office.and her role was appreciated.Her next two releases were Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love (2007) and Eklavya: The Royal Guard (2007) which grossed over Rs. 180 million;Eklavya was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars for the 80th Academy Awards.Balan’s last two releases of the year, Heyy Babyy (2007) and Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007), were both commercial hits.In 2009, Balan played the role of Vidya, a young independent gynecologist who is also a single-mother struggling with her 12-year-old son’s Progeria syndrome, in Paa. Amitabh Bachchan played Balan’s son Auro. The film was received well by critics and Balan’s performance was praised. Sukanya Verma from Rediff wrote, “Vidya Balan slips into the skin of a doting mom with such ease without the mollycoddling tone Bollywood’s young mothers often resort to. Balan is poignant yet restrained and projects an impressive figure of grace and integrity, reminiscent of Dimple Kapadia in the 1980s.”; Nikhat Kazmi from The Times of India noted, “Balan lends a rare dignity to the image of the Bollywood mom. With her quiet grace and controlled emotions, she is Mother Courage incarnate.” Her portrayal ultimately won her a Filmfare Award for Best Actress and a Star Screen Award for Best Actress, among other awards.Balan next acted in the 2010 drama Ishqiya, a feature directed by first-timer Abhishek Chaubey and co-starring Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi. Balan’s role was that of Krishna Verma, a 30-year old widowed village woman. Her character was described as a femme fatale, and her performance was applauded by critics, with NDTV’s Anupama Chopra writing, “Balan’s smoldering looks scorch the screen even as her eyes hint at tragedy. She proves that she is miles ahead of the cookie cutter Barbie dolls that clutter Bollywood and that sensuality has very little to do with showing skin.”Balan’s first release in 2011 was in UTV Spotboy’s No One Killed Jessica alongside Rani Mukerji. She has also said she will be appearing in Chenab Gandhi, directed by Vibhu Puri and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, which centers around Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, also known as Frontier Gandhi.As of January 2011, Balan is scheduled to appear in Dirty Picture, a biopic based on the life and death of Indian actress Silk Smitha. Awards and nominations:Filmfare Awards—Winner -  2006: Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, Parineeta 2006: Filmfare Face of the Year, Parineeta, 2010: Filmfare Best Actress Award, Paa Nominated: 2006: Filmfare Best Actress Award, Parineeta, 2008: Filmfare Best Actress Award, Bhool Bhulaiyaa,2011: Filmfare Best Actress Award, Ishqiya (TBA), Star Screen Awards:Winner: 2006: Star Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female, Parineeta- 2010: Star Screen Award for Best ActressPaa-2011: Star Screen Award for Best ActressIshqiya—- Zee Cine Awards:Winner:2006: Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut, Parineeta: 2011: Zee Cine Award for Best Actor – Female, Ishqiya-Nominated:2006: Zee Cine Award for Best Actor – Female, ParineetaInternational Indian Film Academy Awards-Winner: 2006: IIFA Best Female Debut, Parineeta, 2010: IIFA Best Actress Award, Paa (shared with Kareena Kapoor),Nominated: 2007: IIFA Best Actress Award, Lage Raho Munnabhai, 2008: IIFA Best Actress Award, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, 2008: IIFA Best Villain Award, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, 2008: IIFA Best Supporting Actress Award, GuruStardust Awards- Winner: 2006: Stardust Superstar of Tomorrow – Female, Parineeta_Nominated: 2008: Stardust Best Supporting Actress Award, Guru- Apsara Film and Television Producers Guild Awards—Winner: 2005: Outstanding Debut, Parineeta —2011: Best Actress, Paa2011: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Ishqiya.—Other Awards: 2004: Anandalok Puraskar Awards, Best Actress, Bhalo Theko -2006: Star’s Sabsey Favourite Nayi Heroine, Parineeta- 2007: Anandalok Puraskar Awards, Best Actress (Hindi), Bhool Bhulaiyaa—2010: Lions Gold Awards, Best Actress, Paa2010: ‘FICCI Frames 2010’ Excellence Awards: Best Actress for Paa –


Filmography








































































































Year



Movie



Role



Notes



2003



Bhalo Theko



Anandi



Bengali film



2005



Parineeta



Lalita



Winner, Filmfare Best Female Debut Award
Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award



2006



Lage Raho Munna Bhai



Jhanvi



 



2007



Guru



Meenu Saxena



 



Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love



Tehzeeb Raina



 



Eklavya: The Royal Guard



Rajeshwari



 



Heyy Babyy



Isha



 



Bhool Bhulaiyaa



Avni/Manjulika



Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award



Om Shanti Om



Herself



Special appearance



2008



Halla Bol



Sneha



 



Kismat Konnection



Priya



 



2009



Paa



Vidya



Winner, Filmfare Best Actress Award



2010



Ishqiya



Krishna Verma



Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award



2011



No One Killed Jessica



Sabrina Lal



 



Urumi



Makkom



Filming (Special appearance)



Kahani



 



Filming



The Dirty Picture



Silk Smitha



Filming



 

Poetry In Golden Oldies…


POETRY IN GOLDEN OLDIES….


While travelling in a Delhi bus last week,I was just mesmerized by an old song playing on a player. It was being played by an old driver who was driving the bus, on a player using a recorded pen-drive which had other similar old songs from early 50s and 60s from black and white films of that era. While getting down from the bus after about half an hour of enjoying the golden oldies, I complimented the driver for his love of these old songs. He smiled and said :”Saab aaj kal aisey geet aur sangeet kahaan miltey hain ?”(Sir, where can you find such lovely songs and music these days?)Yes, I agree with him. 


Here is that song that has kept haunting me from last 3-4 days, so much so that I am compelled to post it on my blog. I have also enjoyed listening to it on youtube. The song goes like this: 


Mujhko Is Raat Ki Tanhaai Mein Aawaz Na Do


Jiski Aawaz Rula De Mujhe Woh Saaz Na Do


Awaaz Na Do…


Roshni Ho Na Saki Dil Bhi Jalaya Maine


Tujhko Bhula Hi Nahin Lakh Bhulaya Maine


Mein Pareshan Hoon Mujhe Aur Pareshan Na Karo


Awaaz Na Do…


Is Kadar Jald Kiya Mujhse Kinara Tumne


Koi Bhatkega Akela Yeh Na Socha Tumne


Chhup Gaye Ho To Mujhe Yaad Bhi Aaya Na Karo


Awaaz Na Do…


It was sung by Mukesh and the music was by Kalyanji Anandji. The song was from a lovely movie titled : Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Terey. It was a 1960 Hindi movie. Produced by Bihari Masand for Kanwar Kala Mandir, the film was directed by Arjun Hingorani. The film starred Balraj Sahni, Dharmendra and Kum Kum. The film was Dharmendra’s debut film.


   

 Balraj Sahni            Kum Kum                Dharmendra


Readers can see and listen to this sad song by going to following link:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rHHL2Jq9bM


Here is a passable effort of its English Translation by me:


Don’t call me by my name in the loneliness of this night. And don’t play the music that makes me cry. Don’t call me….


I could not illuminate my life, though I even burnt my heart to light it. I made a million efforts to forget you but I failed to do so. I am too exasperated, please don’t add more exasperation to my mind. Don’t call me….. 


You left me so very quickly and suddenly. You didn’t even give it a moment’s thought that someone could be utterly devastated. Since you have chosen to leave me, please don’t compel me to remember you. Don’t call me….  


    
   Film Poster                    Mukesh                      Kalyanji Anandji         

 

To enjoy the song,I suggest that you switch off all the lights in your room and then hum along with Mukesh at full volume. I guarantee you full satisfaction !

E…N…J…O…Y…!!